Directives on NE People
People from the Northeast generally get a shabby deal in most metropolitan cities. Delhi is perhaps the worst in this regard. More people from the Northeast have been killed, raped or beaten up in Delhi than anywhere else in India. And almost always, such things have happened without any provocation. The accident of one’s birth in the Northeast is good enough reason for someone to get beaten up or killed. It is against such a background that the Supreme Court issued a slew of important directives on Wednesday to enhance a sense of security and inclusion among people from the Northeast living in metropolitan cities. The Supreme Court directed the setting up of a three-member panel, headed by joint secretary (Northeast) in the Ministry of Home Affairs, with powers to ensure strict action in incidents of racial discrimition and atrocities and a brief to suggest measures to curb racial hate and crimes. The two other members are to be nomited by the Centre. The apex court also directed the government to implement the effective monitoring mechanism suggested by the M.P.Bezbaruah Committee and added that the report should not “languish on dusty shelves of long-forgotten archives.” The main thrust of the Supreme Court’s directives in this regard could be said to be summed up in the following words: “The governments, both at the Centre and in the States, have a non-negotiable obligation to take positive steps to give effect to India’s commitment to racial equality.” It is now for the Union government to decide whether the stated objective of the Supreme Court can be achieved within the framework of the existing laws in the Indian Pel Code or whether some amendments to our crimil laws are necessary to ensure real racial equality.